The Manager-Less Workplace


And so, in my research, I came across this article which totally blew my mind. How…in the world…had I not ever heard of this before. Like EVER!!??

Innovation Democracy: W.L. Gore’s Original Management Model

Musical interlude while you read the article…

If you didn’t take the time to click the link…do it. I promise it will be worth not just your time, it will be worth its weight in gold toward any purpose you may be aspiring to. What you will read within these lines are things we have all experienced.

  • Some of us to the greatest of depths that we have not yet recovered.
  • Some of us to the depths that have forced us into armour.
  • Some of us to the heights to stand up and make a stand for something different, better, right.

What I believe is at the foundation of executing every single part of this workplace structure is emotional intelligence. It would be impossible for anyone with low EQ to execute on the fundamental beliefs and guiding principles of a manager-less workplace.

(Article excerpt)

  • Fundamental beliefs: Belief in the individual to do what’s right for the company; our organization harnesses the fast decision-making, diverse perspectives, and collaboration of small teams; “we’re all in the same boat,” sharing risks and rewards and committed to what’s best for the company and its long term success; we take a long-term view, basing our investment decisions on the long-term payoff and not sacrificing our values for short-term gain.

Without a high level of self-perception, self-expression, and stress-management, an individual would not possess the skills to execute on self-belief, choosing the greater good over the individual, inclusion, and collaboration, risking personal safety to innovate.

  • Guiding principles: freedom – for associates to achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts to the success of the corporation, to take action, to come up with ideas, to make mistakes as part of the creative process, to encourage each other to grow; fairness – we each sincerely try to be fair with each other, our suppliers, our customers and anyone else with whom we do business; commitment – we each make our own commitments and keep them; waterline – everyone at Gore consults with other associates before taking actions that might be “below the waterline,” causing serious damage to the company

Without a high level of interpersonal relationships and decision making, an individual would not be able to take action with insight and solve problems creatively, to share risk and decide the best course of action while remaining flexible to constant change, adapt priorities based on what is and isn’t impactful in the moment to the overall goal.

Here’s the mission, here’s the BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL.

An onboarding program that develops individuals to be able to flourish in a manager-less organization. An organization that is self-orienting, self-organizing, focused on the collective over the one, diplomatic in its decision making, innovative in its problem solving, freely sharing of information-praise-recognition, freely admits to errors and failures seeing them as opportunities to grow and learn and risk bigger next time, a human’s first environment that places people before anything else.


Onboarding that focuses entirely on the individuals’ emotional intelligence growth. Developing their capacity to reach their optimum EQ so that they can leverage the crap out of their IQ. Developing each person to be the master leader of themselves in the most emotionally intelligent way; reaching the peak of their overall sense of well-being, their emotional functioning, their social functioning, and their performance.

Whoa. I just blew my own mind.

This is my mission to bring to the masses.


Teresa Quinlan
Teresa Quinlan
Teresa Quinlan, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Speaker, Consultant. An Entrepreneur and Founder of her personal brand and the formula IQ+EQ=TQ, Teresa is passionate about emotional intelligence as the key ingredient to leveraging your IQ and personality and achieving the greatest levels of performance success. Teresa has been focused on transforming individuals, teams, and organizations to greater levels of performance since 1998 and has experienced leading teams and organizations through the highest of highs and the most challenging changes. Having spent over 25 years cultivating a rich and diverse set of skills, knowledge, behaviours, coaching and training new and experienced leaders, and mentoring, Teresa has developed shoot straight coaching, training, and mentoring techniques which foster opportunities for sustainable behavioural changes that lead to exceptional results; whether these results are to improve an individual's overall sense of well-being, a teams ability to be innovative, collaborative, self-organizing and self-directing, or an organizations ability to truly live their values throughout every uphill battle and downhill celebration. The road for Emotional Intelligence can being with the EQi-2.0 assessment; providing the baseline markers for one’s current EQ skill set. Development of EQ is done in many ways including: 1:1 Coaching, lEQdership – Leadership Development through Emotional Intelligence Program, Webinars, Speaking Engagements, Team coaching, and consultation. Listen to TNT ESQ podcast with co-host Rhys Thomas on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, and more.

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  1. Okay, Teresa, I love this for SO many reasons, but first and foremost, because I feel like I just got a wonderful dose of YOU! Your writing is such a wonderful reflection of the amazing, energizing woman you are in life, which was a wonderful way to start the day. So this brought up two things for me! One, is that if eliminate managers, this requires our LEADERS to take a stronger role in communicating purpose and vision and ensuring everyone feels that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Secondly, I think this goes way beyond the onboarding process, it requires a completely different recruiting/hiring process. Instead of looking for someone who simply has the skills you’re looking to hire to do a job, you need to hire for their CAPACITY and DESIRE to learn and grow. That is a very different type of candidate. It opens up the hiring pool in a totally different way because candidates that might have likely been overlooked in the old-way-of-thinking, now rise to the top. Good stuff! You’ll have my wheels turning for weeks!